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How we simplify existing conditions



When it comes to architectural renovation projects, the process of gathering existing conditions is a cornerstone upon which the entire venture rests. The precision of this initial phase is crucial, as maximizing accuracy at this stage minimizes costly errors down the road. Traditional methods still have their place in the industries, but technologies like Matterport and LIDAR scanning have propelled the field into a new era. These advanced methods are not just slightly better; they are leagues ahead, revolutionizing the way we as architects approach renovation projects.

Traditionally, architects rely heavily on the use of existing plans, which are often outdated, incomplete, or even misplaced over time. Hand-measuring is a common practice, frequently demanding a significant amount of time and manpower, all while being susceptible to human error. Manual measuring often requires multiple site visits to gather the full scope of information needed – and even then, the details are missed. Markups describing 3D space are made on a 2D plan, and some information is simply lost in translation. All of this lost or ignored information frequently results in longer construction timelines full of RFI’s, site coordination, and potentially even re-design – the good news is, all this can be avoided.

Enter LIDAR and its groundbreaking capabilities. With this technology, the dependency on hard-to-find or potentially inaccurate existing plans is eliminated. Architects can now quickly and efficiently capture the entirety of the space using 3D scanning, drastically reducing the time and staffing required for this process — by up to 50% or more in some cases. The information gathered via Matterport isn’t just raw data; it’s comprehensive insight fit for sophisticated design analysis, planning, and execution. Every nook, cranny, curve, and unique condition is captured, creating a virtual replica of the space with real-world accuracy. This “digital twin” becomes the foundation for all subsequent renovation planning. With Matterport specifically, project teams can view the captured spaces from the comfort of their desk in both full HD 360-degree walkthroughs and dimensionally accurate point clouds, reducing the need for multiple site visits and long travel times. When utilized properly, these digital twins are far more accurate than their counterparts built from hand measurements and outdated existing plans. Nothing is missed – everything from the geometry of rooms and spaces down to the smallest details like power and data outlets, furniture locations, and slight variations in finishes can be viewed and analyzed when building models of existing buildings.
When it is necessary for architects, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, BIM managers, VDC managers, and other construction professionals to have a point cloud with a higher density than the MatterPak .XYZ point cloud.  With the Matterport for Revit® Plug-in for Autodesk Revit®, you can easily import E57 3D point clouds into 3D and architecture, engineering, and design applications. (Image Source)
Once Ervin Architecture has scanned your existing building(s), we take this detailed point cloud information and use it to build your digital replica of the space in Autodesk Revit, our design software of choice. We’ll accurately locate all of the scanned building elements within our scope of work to within ¼” of reality. Accuracy is key here as our parametric Revit model serves as the springboard for every future design decision and layout for your renovation project.

 An overview of the job site and everything inside it in high-resolution – Matterpak™ Bundle (Image Source)

Using a combination of our detailed model and the visual data contained in Matterport walkthroughs, we’ll be able to tell you exactly what needs to happen to execute any vision you have in mind. Sizes and conditions of anything in the building are all just a couple clicks away and help us to verify the constructability of our designs from early on in the project, ensuring success and client satisfaction in the long run.


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